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Opposition in Jamaica Wins Local Elections

July 31, 1986|Associated Press

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The opposition People's National Party of former Prime Minister Michael Manley decisively defeated the incumbent Jamaica Labor Party in local elections marred by violence, officials said Wednesday.

Manley's party, which said during the campaign that it would call for early national elections if it won Tuesday's balloting, captured 10 of 13 parish councils, according to the electoral commission.

With 486,995 votes counted, the People's National Party garnered 278,163 votes compared to 208,832 votes for the Jamaica Labor Party of Prime Minister Edward Seaga. Of the 187 council seats at stake, Manley's party won 99 and the Labor Party 37. The vote count was continuing for the remaining 51 seats.

The councils appoint mayors, council chairmen and other local leaders across this Caribbean island.

Manley, who was prime minister from 1972 until Seaga's election in 1980, did not specifically call in his victory speech for early national elections. But he implied that he would by labeling early elections "the central issue of the campaign."

Reelected in 1983

Throughout the campaign, Seaga insisted that he planned to remain in power until his term ends in 1989. He was reelected in 1983 when Manley's party boycotted the elections.

Manley, whose policies were socialist, had strengthened Jamaica's ties with Cuba.

Voter turnout in rural areas was reported heavy, up to 75%. The turnout in the capital, Kingston, was lower.

Two people were killed Tuesday in election-related shootings, police said. One man died when men fired on a crowd from moving cars in the Hannahtown section of Kingston, and another man died in Spanishtown, 13 miles west of the capital. Neither victim was immediately identified.

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